Best Soaking Solution to get stains out of Clothes

this soaking solution is my go to when i have set in stains that don’t come out with traditional methods (i will be posting those tomorrow). i have to say that it almost always works.

last week i went over to my sisters house, and saw a pile of clothes in her trash can. i thought that maybe they had just fell in from the counter, but no. she told me that they were stained and she had tried cleaning them multiple times with no luck. so i gathered them up and brought them home. i thought i’d give my old soaking solution a try. well guess what…it worked!!!!
you know how when you open saved baby clothes and yellow stains have appeared on them. i used this solution on my baby clothes before i packed them away, and when i got them out for baby there were no stains. and when i do find old stains, i mix up a batch of my solution, toss a bunch of clothes in, and by the next day they are beautiful.
so, here is the soaking solution….
Oxy Clean + Dawn Dishwashing liquid + Biz + Cascade Dishwasher detergent. yep….all four of these. seems like a lot, but they each have special functions that seem to fight my stains everytime. the Dawn helps get out the oils and greases, the Cascade gets out the enzymes and protein stains, Biz helps whiten and brighten the colors, and the Oxy Clean seems to make the whole solution work.
• use a 2-3 gallon size bucket or large tupperware (my mom uses her sink). fill it up with warm or hot water. i then put in all four of the soaps. i don’t have exact measurements…..i kind of just put a bunch in. probably at least a cup of the Oxy Clean and Biz, 1/2 – 3/4 cup of Cascade and 1/3 cup of Dawn. if you are using a larger container, use more soap.
• then, mix it all up. let all the soap crystals dissolve in the warm water. once it is all dissolved, put your clothes in. if you are using colors, make sure the water has cooled down. you also want to make sure that you don’t put to many clothes into the solution. you should still be able to stir the clothes around in the water.
• let clothes soak. i usually let them soak overnight. every so often i stir the clothes around and make sure nothing is bleeding. the next morning i go through and pull out the ones that are clean and put them in the washer. i leave in the ones that need more soaking, and add more Oxy Clean. this helps boost the solution again. sometimes it can take a few days (even 5) for the stain to release. be patient….it almost always works.
this solution has been wonderful on chocolate, baby spit-up/poopies, the yellowing around baby shirt necks where they drool, food stains and for overall brightening of clothes that can’t be bleached. i have even been successful at removing huge mold stains by letting the clothes soak for 2 weeks and just adding more Oxy Clean each day. however, i haven’t had good luck on ink….hairspray works on that.
NOTE: reds and dark colors can sometimes bleed, so keep an eye out for that. i usually do a solution for my lights, and one for my colors. Also, you don’t have to use Cascade brand dishwasher detergent…..but don’t use the really cheap non-brand stuff.
good luck!!!!!


  1. I used to live in the UK. Biz is the equivalent to Biotex stain removing powder. Its an enzymatic cleaner.

    • Ginny Jolly says

      I think you mean phosgene. When you put an acid like vinegar with chlorine bleach–or even use ammonia with chlorine, there’s a reaction that creates phosgene which irritates the lungs horribly. It was used in one of the world wars (first, I think) as chemical warfare.

      The reaction of oxide ions from Oxiclean also acts like vinegar and ammonia, and mixing it with chlorine bleach should be avoided.

      • This mixture doesn’t have that kind of chemical reaction. I’ve been using it for 10 years. The products in the states are different than overseas – even the same
        Brand and assuming same product.

  2. omar says

    ive been doing this for over TEN years .its cheaper to just double up on BIZ …its oxiclean with added boosting agents plus enzymes……oxiclean is overpriced and i just dont buy it.

    Chemistry is good. anything with bleach should not be added to anything with oxygen type cleaners…
    in high concentrations is dangerous to add OxiClean to bleach in low concentration or average concentrations bleach and oxyclean react releasing chlorine gas and oxygen gas. if those two chemicals cancel each other out they are not cleaning for you

  3. Anonymous says

    In my opinion, it would make your blog come to life a little bit.

  4. Lisa,
    Biz is a stain fighter and booster for whites & colors. it says it contains biodegradable sufactants, enzymes, sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate, sodium silocate & fabric brightening agent. Hmm?

  5. Ooo, this is fantastic. I can’t wait to try it. However, I’m in the UK and we don’t have the brands you have over the pond. I’ve found substitutes for everything other than the Biz. I.e. oxy = Vanish oxy action, Dawn = any dish washing up liquid, Cascade = any biological washing powder.

    Could you email me what ingredients the Biz has in it so I’m able to find a substitute. I also admit to throwing a hell of a lot of my 3 children’s clothes in the bin which depressed me from felt tip pen crayon stains.

    Sweet 2 Eat Baking

  6. I think you have to use biz…or maybe another color safe bleach.

  7. Does it have to be Biz or can you use any stain fighter detergent?

  8. I can not wait to try this!! I wish I had only found it sooner. My two kids (3.5yrs & 16 months) are little stain magnets 🙂

  9. I bought the Dawn Pure Essentials so I wouldn’t have to worry about the dye tinting anything and it has been less than 24 hours and it is working like a charm! Thanks Jill!

  10. Dawn says

    I tried your soaking solution this week on a few items. I even threw in some of my boys stained white socks. I have to say…I was AMAZED! First of all, without your prompting, I would have never let them sit so many days (I left them in about 5). And, I was a little worried because the green-tinted Dawn I used seem to tint everything a little green. But, with some rinsing and a little bleach, the socks are almost as white as they were coming out of the package. Way cool!

  11. WOW! Can’t wait to try this!!

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